The third-generation Mazda 3 has been in service for over five years, having debuted in 2013 and subtly refreshed in July 2016. The Hiroshima-based carmaker is currently developing its successor, and according to Autoexpress, the fourth-generation Mazda 3 will appear as early as November this year, at the Los Angeles Motor Show.
Huge changes are expected, because the 3 will be the first production model to be based on Mazda’s new SkyActive-Vehicle Architecture. The all-new platform offers improved refinement and provide a low, sporty seating position. The best part is, it forms the base for the company’s upcoming SkyActiv-X technology.
It’s no secret that Mazda is an avid proponent of the internal combustion engine. The SkyActiv-X sounds revolutionary – it’s a new petrol engine featuring Spark Controlled Compression Ignition (SPCCI), which means the engine can operate in two different combustion states.
Firstly, the engine is still traditionally a gasoline engine, but it’s also capable of compression ignition, a technology commonly found in diesel engines. Spark plugs will be used as a controlling factor to ignite the compressed fuel and air mixture, and the resulting flame kernel raises the pressure within the combustion chamber, burning the rest of the mixture that is leaner.
With this, Mazda says the SkyActiv-X engine will deliver petrol-like effervescence with the benefits of diesel fuel economy, because the engine can run on a leaner air-fuel mixture. Apparently, when the supercharged engine goes into production next year, Mazda is looking at an output of 190 hp and 230 Nm of torque!
According to the publication, two more engines will be offered alongside the new 3 – a cheaper, entry-level SkyActiv-G petrol and a SkyActiv-D diesel option. Unlike other automakers, Mazda has yet to announce its future directions with diesel technology, but for now, its range of oil burners get to live another day.
Earlier in March, Chinese publication PCAuto released pictures of the new 3’s fully-digital instrument cluster. It’s configurable and features two display modes for drivers to choose. Besides that, nothing about the new model is known yet. However, Mazda did say there will be a big improvement in quality, and it has its sights set on more premium rivals like the Audi A3 and W177 Mercedes-Benz A-Class.
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